How do you view accountability? As a child, accountability often looked like a yard stick. Maybe that’s why I get nervous when I think about it. I may not have liked it, but I always needed it. Even now, as an adult. It was true in Bible times too. Today, as we ready to read 1 John, the apostle John is exercising his responsibility to hold Christians accountable. When you examine it you will see three distinct components. A reminder of who Jesus is, how we react to that understanding and finally, why it matters.
I John starts with a reminder of who Jesus is. If you haven’t noticed, its easy to get mixed up about Jesus. That is as true today as it was 2,000 years ago when John wrote this book. People everywhere were questioning Jesus’ divinity. After all, how is it possible to be human and God? Our faith is easily sidetracked with such questions. Many of us already have. For example, it is far easier to believe that Jesus was just a “good guy” than it is to believe he is God. In 1 John, John rebutts these falsehoods with a strong message of truth. He reminds us that Jesus was, in fact, “from the beginning,” meaning that he was with God before all of creation. He also points to evidence of his humanity, recalling that they saw him personally and were able to touch him physically (John 20:27). These reminders of truth hole us accountable to the core truth’s of Jesus.
As we recall his perfect nature, John begins to encourage us to act accordingly. The behavioral change John is talking about starts with our heart which is justified through Jesus’ sacrifice. We need to remember our need for forgiveness and salvation, often. This remembrance causes behavioral changes. He fills our renewed hearts with His love and goodness. Out of this river, flows righteousness and good deeds.
In conclusion, John encourages us to be confident. Not just for eternal life, but for true life. Right here on earth. God cares about our struggles. He wants to intercede. He will intercede. Sometimes, we just need a reminded.